NFS Undercover Car Performance Ratings

2008 Need for Speed Undercover

NFS Undercover Car Performance Ratings

Postby GT3x24x7 » 30 Nov 2008, 11:55

After finishing the Undercover career, naturally I wanted to get online and pwn some noobz. Before I could do that successfully, I needed to know which cars were actually worth using. There's no point bringing a knife to a gunfight, they say.

UC's race events can be broken into two categories that I like to call 'speed' and 'twisty'. Speed races run mainly on the highways and feature lots of long straights and fast, easy turns, while Twisties are tight tracks with lots of turns, braking and cornering. Obviously, you need a different setup for each of these, Speed races are all about top speed, while Twisties are all about acceleration and handling.

Right, so I figure I need to measure top speed and acceleration of all cars. Once the good ones are known, a serious effort to tune them can be made. For both tests I chose the Adder Shortcut checkpoint race in Palm Harbor. This is an open run mainly on the highway with ample space to hit top speed with any car. Also, the start area has some features that make it easy to measure acceleration.

Top Speed Test

To test top speed, I ran the full Adder Shortcut course in each car, taking care to make it a relatively clean run and to follow the same route each time. NOS was freely used. At the end of the run, the top speed was recorded. All speeds are measured in km/h since that's what we use in Australia. Use this handy dandy unit converter if you need to convert to imperial.

Acceleration Test

Right after the Adder Shortcut start line you drive straight through two fences without needing to turn. To test acceleration I simply held the gas floored from the start until the exact point that the car hit the second fence. Then I let the car stop and wait for the checkpoint timer to run down. The top speed reached provides a measure of the car's acceleration. No NOS was used in this testing.

Tuning

Both tests were run with the cars in 'default' tune and 'max' tune. Default tune is simply all max parts fitted and all tuning sliders left centered at the zero position. Max tune for the top speed runs had the engine slider set to maximum horsepower (+10.0), the transmission slider set to maximum top speed (+10.0) and all other sliders at zero. For acceleration tests, max tune was the opposite, with engine set to max torque (-10.0), transmission set to max acceleration (-10.0) and all other sliders zeroed.

Note that while the max acceleration tune I used will (generally) produce the best acceleration from a car, in all likelihood the top speed will be severely limited. When tuning your car, certainly use these tests as a guide, but try to strike a balance between speed and acceleration that suits the track.


Following are a set of posts that show the results of the testing, one for each car tier. I hope y'all find it useful or interesting, or at least well formatted. :D
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Tier 4

Postby GT3x24x7 » 30 Nov 2008, 12:08

Well let's start at the bottom. With the way UC's online mode works, randomly selecting track and tier, each car tier is just as important as the other.

Tier 4 Top Speed

Some surprises here, especially coming from Carbon, where the muscles traditionally own the top speed stakes. Tables turned now with four of the top five cars being tuners. Also notice the enormous gains that a little tuning gives to the Cadillac and Golf R32. Lastly (literally) look at the poor Solstice.. tuning actually made it go slower! In fact the last few cars on the list just don't have enough power to push the high-geared transmissions I added to them when tuning.

uc_t4_speed.png
Tier 4 Top Speed Results


Tier 4 Acceleration

Interesting stuff here too, with a couple old school muscles proving the best accelerators bar one. Of course they don't turn so good, so keep that in mind! The Scirocco and Mazda3 actually went slower when tuned because the gearing became so close they lost time changing gears. Still, for my money, the Focus, Scirocco and Mazda3 are the best choices for Tier 4 twisties.

uc_t4_accel.png
Tier 4 Acceleration Results
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Tier 3

Postby GT3x24x7 » 30 Nov 2008, 12:18

Tier 3 Top Speed

Tuners again lead the T3 top speed stakes, with the Evos, RX-7 and Nissan sixes easily in front. It's worth noting that a good number of these cars are underpowered for the long gearing applied in the Speed Tune and so you need to be constantly pouring the NOS in to keep the speed up. Cars needing this approach were the Mustang, Stingray, Charger R/T, Challenger and Evo X.

The surprise of the bunch is the Dodge Challenger, which handles like a wet dream! Try it for yourself and be surprised.

uc_t3_speed.png
Tier 3 Top Speed Results

Tier 3 Acceleration

Muscle outstrips tuners in the T3 acceleration stakes with some of the best tuning gains going to those torquey V8s. Notably the Audi TT and Megane went considerably backwards when fitted with a close ratio box, the Skyline suffered too and the Lancers didn't seem to mind either way. Beware of the deceptively placed Charger R/T, which goes quite well in a straight line, but handles like a bent brick. Be prepared to do some serious suspension tuning before this one will even begin to behave.

uc_t3_accel.png
Tier 3 Acceleration Results
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Tier 2

Postby GT3x24x7 » 30 Nov 2008, 12:18

Tier 2 Speed

Well for me, this tier turned out pretty much as expected in the top speed stakes. Porsches dominating (let's not forget the love affair the NFS franchise has harboured for Porsche in the past ;)), with the more torquey BMW's and true muscle cars bringing up the rear. Don't be too tantalised by the Lexus, it's quite an uninspiring drive with bags of understeer to tune out. However if you were able to tune the handling satsfactorily, the Lexus could be quite the Tier 2 sleeper.

(Oh and how about the symettry in the graph? Looks almost planned..)

uc_t2_speed.png
Tier 2 Top Speed results

Tier 2 Acceleration

I was quite surprised to see the SL65 and old school Shelby GT topping this list, especially ahead of the Viper, which is more or less the second fastest car overall in Carbon. As you can see theres quite some variability in acceleration tuning value for Tier 2 - some cars benefit strongly from tuning while others it derived little or no change. Obviously you're going to need a 'suck it and see' approach before settling on final car choices here.

uc_t2_accel.png
Tier 2 Acceleration Results
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Tier 1

Postby GT3x24x7 » 30 Nov 2008, 12:19

Tier 1 Speed

"Don't bring a knife to a gunfight", they say. Well in Undercover, the fight is any Tier 1 race, and the gun is the Bugatti Veyron. As much as I'd hoped to uncover a serious contender for the Veyron in speed races, sadly there is none. If you're not driving a Veyron in a speed race, just hope the guys who are can't drive to save themselves. To be clear though, the Veyron is outclassed in the handling department by quite a few cars, so be ready to capitalise when the Veyron guys slip up.

uc_t1_speed.png
Tier 1 Speed Results

Tier 1 Acceleration

While the Veyron owns here too, the acceleration stakes are a closer field. With a little skill or luck, you have a chance of beating a Veyron with the Corvette, or the better handling R8 and CCX. Good hunting!

uc_t1_accel.png
Tier 1 Acceleration Results
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Re: NFS Undercover Car Performance Ratings

Postby t3ice » 01 Dec 2008, 02:44

Wow GT! ..nice going on the top speeds and accelerations, but isnt there a similar topic regarding the quickest cars around a track?

But i think what your doing is more organized anyway..so MOAR PLZ!! :mrgreen:
GT3x24x7 wrote:The surprise of the bunch is the Dodge Challenger, which handles like a wet dream! Try it for yourself and be surprised.


That made me lol :lol:
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Re: NFS Undercover Car Performance Ratings

Postby GT3x24x7 » 01 Dec 2008, 06:20

Yeah there's VG_Speed's Undercover All Tier Car Test, which is great and represents a lot of good work, but I found the results too narrow - they really only cover the twistier side of things and don't take tuning into account.

The aim here is not so much to measure the cars against each other but to measure the basic attributes (top speed and acceleration) absolutely, providing info that can be used to choose the best car from any tier for any track. Plus, I have the Collector's Edition, so all cars are included in the testing.

Well, that's the plan anyway. :D
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Re: NFS Undercover Car Performance Ratings

Postby t3ice » 01 Dec 2008, 07:05

Well good luck then..Personally i cant wait for your tier 2 results.. :D
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Re: NFS Undercover Car Performance Ratings

Postby jeffareid » 01 Dec 2008, 12:59

GT3x24x7 wrote:Tuning

Both tests were run with the cars in 'default' tune and 'max' tune. Default tune is simply all max parts fitted and all tuning sliders left centered at the zero position. Max tune for the top speed runs had the engine slider set to maximum horsepower (+10.0), the transmission slider set to maximum top speed (+10.0) and all other sliders at zero. For acceleration tests, max tune was the opposite, with engine set to max torque (-10.0), transmission set to max acceleration (-10.0) and all other sliders zeroed.
The tuning parameters don't operate exactly as described. It appears that both tuning values adjust either the same parameter in game, or have a very similar effect. The difference in top speed between engine -10, transmission +10 versus engine +10, transmission -10 is very small, 2 to 4 mph more with engine -10 on the tier 1 cars, none on the tier 4 cars. Also some cars are geared relatively tall compared to others. A Zonda reaches 226 mph with engine -10, transmission -5, while the Z06 does the same with engine -10, transmission 0.

Another quirk is that most cars won't redline in top gear, and that 6th gear acceleration is affected by the same quirk. In the case of the Z06, with engine at +5, drivetrain at +10, top speed in 5th redlines at 235 mph, while top speed in 6th is only 5 mph faster at 240 mph, but 5th gear pulls much stronger. It appears that for better acceleration for a 235 mph setup, it's better to set engine at +5, drivetrain at +10, and not use 6th gear.

Comparing the Zonda to the Z06, the Zonda seems to have more downforce, better speeds in turns, but slower speeds on the straights. The Z06, with it's lower downforce tends to go airborne easier than the Zonda. I use both cars, the Zonda for tight tracks, and the Z06 for more open tracks.

So far I've only made one video, the Zonda at South Blvd and Bank, a sub 55 second lap. There's a stutter at 45 seconds into the video due to fraps for video capture (this doesn't happen when not using fraps). The Z06 lap times are almost as fast, but it's harder to drive, it jumps easier than the Zonda, speeds on the straights are 5 mph to 15 mph faster, but the slower turn speeds require I brake at a couple of spots where I can just downshift without lifting in the Zonda.

http://jeffareid.net/nfsuc/nucsbbznd.wmv
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Re: NFS Undercover Car Performance Ratings

Postby GT3x24x7 » 01 Dec 2008, 15:16

Results posted for all tiers; testing is complete! Have fun.. :D
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Re: NFS Undercover Car Performance Ratings

Postby Nitrodemon McLaren » 01 Dec 2008, 16:47

Nice job, I knew the Veyron would be the best. It's obvious. :P However the Koenigsegg CCX looks promising too.
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Re: NFS Undercover Car Performance Ratings

Postby zedex » 02 Dec 2008, 16:22

they've quite followed how the real cars would perform in real life i guess... especially with "stock" speeds *without tuning*

except for the obvious favourited porsches *in tier 2*
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Re: NFS Undercover Car Performance Ratings

Postby TONTO89 » 10 Dec 2008, 00:58

lol I bought the R8 when i got to tier 1 and I modified it all the way and then I saved up to buy the pagani zonda for the final races but a couple races after I bought the pagani I was at the final races and my Audi R8 was plenty fast.
but I had bought the pagani thinking it would be a faster car but apperently its not that great in the game.
thanks for all the hard work!
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Re: NFS Undercover Car Performance Ratings

Postby GT3x24x7 » 10 Dec 2008, 02:53

TONTO89 wrote:thanks for all the hard work!


You're very welcome!

Comiserations on the Zonda.. :D
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Re: NFS Undercover Car Performance Ratings

Postby Cpt.Razkit » 11 Dec 2008, 17:58

I haven't lost a race with the CCX... but that was only 4 online races :lol:

I kinda wish I didn't trade this in but oh well

Cheers to GT for all the hard work, looks professional and well done!
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Re: NFS Undercover Car Performance Ratings

Postby jeffareid » 02 Jan 2009, 23:16

The general consensus for the best overall cars (turns and straights):

Tier 4 - Lotus Elise (for career mode, I skip the Skyline and wait for GT2).
Tier 3 - Nissan Skyline GTR
Tier 2 - Porsche GT2
Tier 1 - Corvette Z06, Zonda if in career mode with the driver skill peformance boost.
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Re: NFS Undercover Car Performance Ratings

Postby nfsunlimuser » 05 Jan 2010, 09:50

jeffareid wrote:The tuning parameters don't operate exactly as described. It appears that both tuning values adjust either the same parameter in game, or have a very similar effect. The difference in top speed between engine -10, transmission +10 versus engine +10, transmission -10 is very small, 2 to 4 mph more with engine -10 on the tier 1 cars, none on the tier 4 cars. Also some cars are geared relatively tall compared to others. A Zonda reaches 226 mph with engine -10, transmission -5, while the Z06 does the same with engine -10, transmission 0.


Resurrecting this thread ... but what the heck. I have NFS:UC for the Wii, and I did extensive testing (but lost the papers I wrote everything on. My results were what you said: that adjusting engine and transmission altered the same thing - namely the balance between top speed and acceleration.

Tires and suspension both adjusted under/oversteer. Well, suspension certainly directly affected the under/oversteer characterstics of the car. Tires generally seemed to make the car slide a bit more, but perhaps I was imagining things and adjusting tires just also adjusted under/oversteer. Because, practically speaking, the only time you feel grip is when you put your car through a corner. It makes sense that adjusting tire grip might have been modelled in the game (simplistically) as more/less under/oversteer.

Nitrous is self-explanatory.

Brakes are pretty self-explanatory too (front bias = oversteers the car when brakes applied, rear bias = understeers the car when brakes applied).

The only one I didn't figure out was the turbo/supercharger. For the life of me, I never could figure out what that adjusted. What I'm sure of is that it doesn't affect top speed at all (makes sense) and doesn't appear to alter acceleration up to speeds of about 120-130kph (didn't test fully at speeds higher than that that).

Also what is interesting is that for me (on the Wii) anyway, two settings under "visuals" seemed to have an effect on the car: lowering ride height and tire size.

Changing ride height seemed to make the cars less bouncy and also seemed to give them a bit more understeer (it also somewhat feels like the speed at which the car can turn is reduced a bit). I couldn't tell if lowering the car gave it more full speed or acceleration.

Changing the size of the tires seemed to change performance characteristics. Bigger tires seemed to make the car mroe sluggish in turning (possibly this was just altering understeer?). It seemed as if I could more easily stay on the road through corners with 17" tires. With 21" tires I had to turn earlier and would often understeer a bit and hit walls. Dodging other traffic also seemed more difficult with the larger tires.

I'd be interested to hear others' comments on these things.
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Re: NFS Undercover Car Performance Ratings

Postby nfsunlimuser » 05 Jan 2010, 09:54

By the way, one of my favourite in-city cars (not necessarily highway, although it's good for that too) is the Mitsu Lancer Evo. On the Wii we only get one variant. If you tune that baby up, it has a hell of a grip on the road. You can blaze away on most twists and turns and not lose acceleration because the car is still gripping! Give it slight understeer and slight rear bias on the brakes, and you can pretty much adjust engine/transmission and nitrous to how you like things. (Again, I never really figured out what the turbocharger settings were adjusting, so play with those.) I also pop the ride height down to 50% although to be honest, I sort of like how the car feels at full height.
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Re: NFS Undercover Car Performance Ratings

Postby AlexXxuTzZu » 18 Nov 2011, 19:02

hmm..looks interesting, i think i will try ford escort next time i will play.
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NFS Undercover Car Performance Ratings

Postby JerryKew » 30 Oct 2017, 15:46

I tried it, Its quite good. However, it does not account for 350 rule correctly.
Indeed, after I entered the result and got TPR, I bumped ratings of my opponent to TPR-350 and recalculated. TPR shouldve stayed the same, but it actually went up.
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